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13.09.2003 Regional News

Scientific community to join the fight against discrimination of PLHWAS

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Koforidua, Sept. 13, GNA- The Director General of the Ghana Aids Commission (GAC), Prof. Sakyi Awuku Amoa, has called on the scientific community to come out to assist in the national campaign against the discrimination of People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs).

He said HIV/AIDS is like any other terminal disease such as diabetes, hypertension, cardio-vascular diseases, saying none of those diseases attract so much stigma and discrimination like HIV/AIDS. Prof Amoa said the country has reached a situation where the country has to do away negative attitude, adding that the members of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) could play a useful role in leading the campaign for the PLWHAs).

He was speaking at this year's launching of the Annual Health Week of the GMA at Koforidua on Friday, under the theme: "the fight against HIV/AIDS, The role of the community leaders".

Prof. Amoa said there was enough evidence of health professionals who discriminate against PLWHAS at health institutions. Prof. Amoah called on GMA members not to sit on the fence but to pool resources and contribute towards to finding solutions to the HIV/AIDS.

Mr. Moses Dani-Baah, Deputy Minister of Health, called on District Chief Executives (DCE) to ensure that the one per cent of the Common Fund, which was to be allocated for HIV/AIDS programmes was used to finance such programmes.

He urged the DCEs to ensure that all heads of Ministries, Department and Agencies under the District Assembly integrate HIV/AIDS/STI prevention programmes into their mainline activities. The Eastern Regional Minister, Dr. Francis Osafo-Mensah, warned that the HIV/AIDS could escalate if information on the disease was not carefully parcelled to impact on the vulnerable in the society. Dr. J Plange-Rhule, the National President of the GMA, observed that the nation will benefit if all FM radio stations in the country could devote one minute after every news bulletin for anti HIV/AIDS message.

Dr. Adom Winful, the Eastern Region Divisional Chairman of the GMA, expressed the hope that the launching of the week in Koforidua will bring a change in the sexual behaviour of residents in the area.

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